Eric Cantor is in for another two years of lighting the Republican congressional menorah on his own.
Randy Altschuler, who represented the last chance for getting another Jewish Republican elected, conceded Wednesday to incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop.
It was the only House race still contested after the November elections and both sides were following each and every vote that was disputed and recounted. Coming out of election day, Bishop was announced winner with a 2,000-vote margin, but the next day election officials said the results in New York’s 1st District, on eastern Long Island, were mistaken and Altschuler had a small lead. What followed was a prolonged process of examining votes and absentee ballots, with each candidate acting as if he had already won. Bishop went to Congress to discuss his committee assignments for the next session and Altschuler attended the new congressmen’s orientation meeting.
But at last, with Bishop holding a lead of 263 votes, Altschuler announced the race is over. “After consulting with my family and campaign staff, I am ending my campaign and offering congratulations to Congressman Tim Bishop on his victory,” he said in a statement issued early this morning.
Altschuler, a Long Island businessman, said he intends to remain politically active, although he did not indicate whether he’d run again for the seat in 2012.
With Altschuler’s race coming to an end, the official tally of Jewish gains in losses for the 2010 midterms is in: For Democrats, minus two senators (Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Arlen Specter who lost the primary race in Pennsylvania,) and 5 lost seats in the House (Ron Klein and Alan Grayson in Florida, Steve Kagan in Wisconsin, John Adler in New Jersey, and New Hampshire’s Paul Hodes who left the House in favor of a failed run for the Senate.) Jewish Democrats gains: Massachusetts’ Richard Blumenthal in the Senate and David Cicilline in Rhode Island.
Republican Jews’ bottom line: No gain in numbers in the House (although newly elected Nan Hayworth said she feels like a good Jewish mother but a big gain in power with lone Jewish Republican Eric Cantor, who as of January will also be known as Mr. Majority Leader.